Environmental Geology

Bianca Pedersen
, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire


This is an introductory level geology course focusing on various aspects of geology that touch people lives, such as earth resources issues and geological hazards. The course includes a lab and field trips. Discussion sessions are included as a part of the lectures.

Course Type: Intro Level Environmental Geology
Course Size:

Course Format:
Students enroll in one course that includes both lecture and lab. The lecture and the lab are both taught by the professor.

Institution Type:
University with graduate programs, primarily masters programs

Course Context:

This is a 100-level general education science course. This course is open to all students, typically about 50% of the students are business majors. There are no prerequisites, but the course serves as one of several possible prerequisites for advanced level courses in geology. The course has a required lab.

In your department, do majors and non-majors take separate introductory courses? no

If students take a "non-majors" course, and then decide to become a major, do they have to go back and take an additional introductory course? no

Course Content:

This course covers basic geological topics of minerals, rocks, the rock cycle and geological processes that affect the Earth surface. Significant time is devoted to issues involving pollution, waste and earth resources. Two examples of activities this course uses are Wastewater Treatment and Determining the 100-year floodplain of the Chippewa River. The course includes 3-4 field trips during which the students are required to make observations and write a synthesis of the information gathered.

Course Goals:

The overall goal of this course is for the students to gain an understanding of how dependent the world population is on Earth resources and how natural processes influence everyone.
In addition, other goals of this course are to develop the students':
- ability to inquire, think and analyze.
- ability to write, read, speak and listen.
- understanding of science and scientific methods.


Students are assessed based on exam performance, participation and performance in in-class quiz questions utilizing the iClicker system, participation in class discussions, lab participation and writing assignments linked to field trips.


Syllabus (Microsoft Word 40kB May7 08)

References and Notes:

Text: Montgomery, 2006, Environmental Geology, 7th ed.